Static letting

COVID 19 Due to the current situation with Covid 19 the Canal & River Trust will be prioritising work that has been identified as urgent and safety critical. Therefore, we’re afraid we are unable to meet our usual 6 week response time to submit Business Boating applications, this includes both Operating Proposals & Works Proposals.

As part of the Operating Proposal process, we conduct an internal consultation and some applications require a site inspection which has meant that we have been unable to review a number of new submissions whilst some staff are on furlough.

We currently have a backlog of applications that have been placed on hold since March, we have commenced progressing these in phased approach. Once these have been cleared, we will log new applications.   You are able to submit a new operating proposal, but please note that we are not operating within our usual response timescales.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and assistance.


These are boats let out for short or long stays. Static letting may include, but is not limited to letting a room on a boat, letting a whole boat, or letting  multiple rooms on a boat.

To let a boat out it must be on an existing mooring recognised by the Trust.

Key considerations

In addition to a home mooring, you will need to show you have the right to access facilities such as fresh water, sewage disposal, rubbish disposal and fuel.


If you are on a secure mooring site where access to the site is via a code or key system, you must provide evidence that the other moorers on the site are happy for you to offer the boat for static letting.

If you're hoping to secure a Waterside mooring to operate your business, please see our Waterside Mooring web pages to help with your planning.


You will need:

  • An insurance certificate that shows you are insured for your business activity     
  • A copy of your British Marine Federation Handover Audit certificate or a copy of your full Handover procedure document    
  • Proof that your mooring provider is hapy for you to operate your business from their site. Note: should this permission be withdrawn by a mooring operator we reserve the right to withdraw the licence
  • A copy of Hire Boat Safety Scheme Certificate  
  • A copy of your gas safe certificate

You can find a copy of the regulations that apply to each sector here


You will need a commercial insurance policy that provides third party and public liability cover to a value of £2m.

Boat licence

You can find our price list on our fees and terms & conditions pages or on the useful downloads at the bottom of this page.

When the business boating manager has confirmed that your operating proposal is acceptable, he/she will forward you a licence application form with the details completed for you to review and return.

Other regulations

Other regulations may apply to your business. For example, boats let out for hire must have a Gas Safe Certificate.

Other regulations may apply to your business. Please read our General Guidance section and make your own independent enquiries to ensure that you understand and comply with all the regulations relevant to your proposed operation.  It is your responsibility to ensure you have in place all other additional licences, permits and consent that may be required in the course of your business.  See here for further information 

Planning permission

Residential or use of a mooring for accommodation usually needs planning permission. You should contact your local planning authority (LPA) at an early stage. They can tell you if planning permission is needed for your intended use and offer guidance on preparing your application, advice on what the application will cost and how long it will take to determine. It's essential that we approve this operating proposal before it is submitted to the planning authority. If the LPA tell you planning is not needed, please provide confirmation of this within your submission.  

Boaters handbook

Boaters Handbook

The Canal & River Trust has launched a new edition of the Boater’s Handbook in partnership with the Environment Agency.  First published in 2002, the Handbook is written for boat owners and hirers and contains lots of 'getting started' tips as well as important information about how to boat safely. 

The updated Handbook contains some new information on which waterways are suited to wider craft and which ones only narrow boats should use, with a map that shows which canals are suitable for each.  There’s also pointers on the extra factors owners and hirers of wide beams need to be aware of when navigating and mooring.

 A downloadable copy of the Handbook, and a video setting out key information, can be found here:  People can also order a free hard copy from the online shop.

Copies can be ordered, a maximum of 2 copies per boat. 

Boaters can also find a PDF the updated waterway dimensions on the Trust’s website:

The Handbook was originally commissioned by British Waterways in partnership with the Environment Agency and the British Marine Federation.  An expert group was commissioned to develop key messages and content, drawing on other published sources and relevant empirical evidence.  Since then, there have been several re-prints which incorporated best practice updates.

Operating proposal

If you are a new or  existing customer and wish to set up a new business boat, you are required to submit an Operating Proposal via our online system.

Please ensure you provide as much information as possible in order for us to assess your proposal. 

If you do not have access to a computer or mobile device and would like to request a paper copy of the operating proposal please email

Upon receipt of your submitted proposal, you will receive email confirmation and reference number. We will then aim to give you an in principle decision within 6 weeks. Please note that you may need to obtain planning permission and negotiate agreements for using our property which could take much longer to finalise

Useful downloads

Last date edited: 21 August 2020